South River Falls Trail

MODERATE 194 reviews
#8 of 144 trails in

South River Falls Trail is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stanardsville, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until June. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1325 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Directions from Front Royal, VA: Skyline Drive travels the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. Mile markers are placed along the right-hand side of the road heading south. They are numbered from north to south beginning at the northern terminus in Front Royal, Virginia. Facilities, trails and park features use the mile markers as points of reference. Park in the South River Picnic Area where the trail begins near the third parking area. The milepost is 62.8.

hiking
3 days ago

Took my two dogs and though it was tricky at points to navigate had a blast!

hiking
15 days ago

I’m not in the best shape anymore and am definitely not back to my prime hiking fitness. I found this trail to be challenging but doable for even someone like myself. The views were amazing. I will definitely be back to do it again.

23 days ago

Great, make sure you go all the way to the bottom of the falls.

24 days ago

Wonderfully maintained. Beautiful water hike if you go after a lot of rain has fallen.

hiking
25 days ago

Loved this! Falls were beautiful - not sure kids would be able to handle the uphill hike back. There were a few wet spots but nothing super crazy.

1 month ago

Went with our dog after a lot of rain, the water crossings were challenging due to slippery rocks. We saw 2 snakes once we arrived at the waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this on 4/29 with both my 9 and 5 yr old boys. We only hiked out to the concrete waterfall lookout area and back which was about 3 miles total. This was by far the most challenging hike I've done with them so far. The hike back is all uphill, and some of the rocky areas could get dangerous if you're not aware of your children's abilities and experience hiking. Great hike overall, quite a few beautiful spots to sit and enjoy the sounds of the water. I'm sure I could enjoy it even more if I wasn't concerned about fishing my kids out of the water

1 month ago

This was a nice afternoon hike on a beautiful day. Falls were low but good challenge making your way back up!

3 months ago

Beautiful hike! A little difficult on the way up, but I can’t complain about the views!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike!! We had a sunny crisp (35deg) day and it was perfect!

3 months ago

We hiked this on 2/27/18 and it’s a beautiful journey. I recently had major reconstructive foot surgery due to an injury back in October so I was a little worried and probably a lot crazy to to do this hike but I faired very well. I will say that though the description says kid friendly, in my opinion this trail is ok for older kids maybe 10 and up. I have a 11 year old daughter she wasn’t with us but I cannot imagine bringing younger kids on this trail. There are some tricky areas and the up hill journey back would entail lots of carrying or complaining from younger children. I don’t recommend his trail for children under 10 unless you plan on carrying them a lot. It’s a beautiful view once you get down to the falls. Would definitely go back.

hiking
4 months ago

The falls were epic after all the recent rain. Going down to the base is absolutely necessary. You won't be disappointed. The return is all uphill and it wore me out a bit, but not too bad. I did the loop with the fire road and part of the AT.

4 months ago

Would not recommend for kids under 12 who aren’t experienced. It’s all fine and dandy going down, but the whole return trip is uphill.

hiking
5 months ago

Lovely views and solitude during the winter. It’s an easy hike for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

5 months ago

Great trail to hike up close to the falls. Long downhill track in the beginning.

6 months ago

Nice moderate hike.

hiking
7 months ago

This is actually South River Falls Trail. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful hike!

8 months ago

Well worth going to the bottom of the falls. Going back up does suck. Def recommend taking the fire road back up. Would like to see the falls in the spring.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike-
Easy down but a bit of an uphill battle. Bring water!
Saw a rattlesnake with her babies-

hiking
9 months ago

Overall great trail. Make sure you go down to the base of the falls. We took our dog and he loved it. The way back up is relatively difficult unless your used to uphill hiking...it's a steady incline the whole way back. You could take the fire road as an alternative back route but I wouldn't recommend it- it's just an uphill gravel road as opposed to an uphill dirt path with streams and stuff to see.

hiking
9 months ago

9 months ago

My favorite hike thus far! You have a stream run by you the entire hike and an amazing view towards the end! Not your grandmother's hike coming back though!

hiking
10 months ago

I have to rate this as an OK trail. The trail is really rocky, the falls base is ankel high. Not what we expected. Once you hit the post marked as "Falls Base" follow the small narrow, rocky trail. it maybe a bit challenging for some but if you want to get to the falls this is where you need to go through. Some people mentioned walking on the edge of the stream but we followed the trail. Good Luck

hiking
11 months ago

A very good hike. Way harder on the way back. Almost 4.5 miles round trip to the waterfall and back. Bring plenty of water especially in the summer. Take your shoes off and step in the water, it will cool you off for sure.

hiking
11 months ago

Awesome trail! First time out hiking in that area and it didn't disappoint. The trail started getting busy on our way back to the parking lot. Getting over the rocks near the water fall would have been a slow single line once it got busier. Overall, solid trail and sights. Would do it again for sure!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Gorgeous hike. Highly recommend!! We had our 4 dogs with us. Everyone was so nice!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Great trail with excellent views of the falls.

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

Hiked down to the viewpoint then further down to the base of the falls. The hike is downhill majority of the way out and uphill the way back. Great hike. Definitely worth taking a dip in the water on a hot day.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

We hiked down from the picnic parking lot to the overlook. Then continue down from the overlook to the base of the falls. After a short rest we started back up the trail, but instead of taking same trail back we continue straight, an pass the falls overlook trial. The trial is a old road wide but at an up hill grade. The trail terminus is on Skyline Drive. Just turn left and you will see the sign for the picnic area, if you parked there you are done.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Slippery the day we went because Of the rain. Beautiful colors of the trees and moss. Got foggy and we couldn't see the waterfall very well. Took us 1:10 to walk to the waterfall viewing and back.

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